In November The Guardian published an article on how you could “beat the cold” this winter and offered up seventeen different warming beverage ideas for your flask. But my favourite, Masala Chai, wasn’t included. This sweet, milky, spiced tea is a hit from a flask, over the camp fire or even from the stove following a day outdoors.
The majority of people in the UK use imported herbs and spices, but you can exchange some for native wild ingredients like alexander seeds, wood aven root and common hogweed seeds.
What makes it Yorkshire? In this case it’s the honey.
You could try initially with a quarter of the ingredients below to find your taste. You might like more ginger or cinnamon over pepper or cardamon than I do or you may want to add vanilla, coconut or some lemon juice. I drink a lot of this and those jars of spices from supermarkets are tiny and expensive. I have therefore found a couple of local(ish) asian supermarkets (York or Middlesborough) that sell herbs & spices in more generous quantities. There is also the Unicorn Grogery in Chorlton, Manchester and an array on online suppliers.
This recipe starts with assembling some ingredients into a sticky chai mix, that you can store and use when you need the perfect pick me up.
STICKY CHAI MIX
|20 x Cardamon Pods|
8 x Cinnamon Sticks – Broken
8 x Star Anise
8 x Cloves
16 x Peppercorns
1tsp x Fennel Seeds
2 tbsp x Ginger – Grated
1 x Nutmeg – Finely Grated
200g x Loose Black Tea Leaves
100g x Honey – Warmed
|Place the Cardamon, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cloves and Pepper corns into a Pestle & Mortar and break them into tiny pieces.|
You’re not looking to make them into dust, just into pieces the size of your little finger.
Add these ingredients along with the rest of the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
Finally, add the warmed honey and mix until all the ingredients are covered with it.
Pop your sticky chai mix into a jar and get ready to make your first batch of Chai.
|1 x (generous) tpsn Sticky Chai Mix|
2 x tpsn Boiling Water
1 x Mug of Milk
Honey for extra sweetness
|Add the sticky chai mix and boiling water to a pan on a low heat and stir for 30 seconds.|
Once the honey has slackened off and you can smell the spices pour over a mug of milk and simmer for 5 minutes.
Strain the mixture back into the mug, add extra honey if you like it sweeter and enjoy.
Multiply up the quantities depending on the size of your flask or party!